View Full Version : Electronic Pest Repellent Devices-Are They Bogus Or Legit?

02-17-2008, 08:33 PM
Shortly after we moved in here, a friend of ours gave us a package of two so-called Sonic Pest Repellers. According to the instructions, all you have to do is stick them in a wall outlet and they generate an ultra or infra noise that bothers bothersome rodents and insects so much they just go away after a couple of weeks, while being inaudible to humans. I'd never heard of such a thing, and expressed my cynicism about any sort of pest control less lethal than Black Flag and old-school necksnapper traps or glueboards. While she hadn't used these gadgets either, she did point out to me that they're made by Black & Decker (a name that generally suggests a quality product) and not some fly-by-night operation. This was quite a while ago, and after she left I just stashed the package away and forgot about it until recently. Ours is an older, somewhat rundown apartment building, and lately we've been besieged both by mice and those little flying beasties I posted about last month; so, about a week ago, I dug out the quondam vermin-vexing devices our friend gave us last year and plugged them into wall outlets -- one in the bathroom and the other in the kitchen.

The info sheet that comes with the gizmos says one per medium-sized room is sufficient. It goes on to say that they're safe to use around dogs, cats and pet birds -- the last being a major plus, if they aren't bunk. The info sheet also warns to keep the devices away from pet tarantulas and rodents, which sounds pretty obvious if they aren't bunk.

But are they bunk? That's the question, and wherein the rub lieth. I have Googled them, and all I found was sites that were obviously out to sell me the things; I always regard such information as compromised. Therefore, I'm putting the question forward in the hope of hearing from people who have actually tried these so-called Sonic Pest Repellent thingermajiggers that one plugs into a wall outlet. Do they work good, or don't they?

02-17-2008, 09:00 PM
Not so effective over the long term. (http://books.google.com/books?id=3_zpqzudm8EC&pg=PA56&lpg=PA56&dq=ultrasonic+repellent+ineffective&source=web&ots=AuWi0Yil0q&sig=Zrinwv0jce5teFg3cy_v72KH684#PPA58,M1)

With most ultrasonic pest repellers there appears to be an initial "wariness" effect where pest activity decreases somewhat, but this does not last once the pest rapidly becomes accustomed to the sound.

This was interesting (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE6DB1331F937A35751C0A96F948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all)

Even when the Government firmly states that a product does not work, stores may keep selling it. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency has maintained since 1984 that electronic products do not repell rodents, mosquitoes, bats, fleas, cockroaches or gophers, but companies have sold more than $25 million worth of these products, said Michael J. Walker, an assistant enforcement counsel for the E.P.A.'s toxics litigation division. The devices supposedly emit high-frequency sounds or vibrations that irritate rodents and insects but are inaudible to humans.

''The E.P.A. has never found any credible evidence to support claims that electronic, electromagnetic or ultrasonic repellent devices work,'' Mr. Walker said. The agency spent $250,000 on tests and found that animals and insects acclimated quickly to the devices or ignored them. Mr. Walker said the agency had sued 15 manufacturers. Some of the companies faded away; most settled by paying fines of $2,500 to $5,000, agreeing to stop producing the devices and admitting that they did not work. But some companies still sell the devices, including one that has defended its product in court.

The company, Impex Corporation in Billerica, Mass., has spent $100,000 fighting an E.P.A. lawsuit because its president, Tej Tanden, said, ''if I don't fight, the technology would be dead.'' The trial ended eight months ago and a decision by an E.P.A. administrative judge is pending. Tried and Tested

Mr. Tanden has been selling his repellers for almost 18 years, and he has support from pesticide experts and a biological scientist. To Mr. Tanden, the problem is that the market has been flooded with phony products.

But two of his supporters said the devices must be used with conventional traps and poisons and are generally ill-suited to homes.

George D. Cardoza, the executive vice president of Griggs Browne Company, a large pest-control company based in Providence, R.I., can rattle off one success story after another about the repeller, but they involve factories and dumpsters. ''My opinion is that ultrasonics are a complete waste of time for homeowners,'' he said. ''You would need a unit for every room in the house and even then furniture would stop the sound.''

Sage Rat
02-17-2008, 09:16 PM
Wikipedia calls bunk:

There are also insect repellent products available based on sound production, particularly ultrasound (inaudibly high frequency sounds). These electronic devices have been shown to have no effect as a pest repellent by studies done by the EPA and many universities.[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insect_repellent)
But, it might only be referring to its use against insects. I'll try and see if I can find anything on its use versus mice. Certainly that sounds more probable.

Sage Rat
02-17-2008, 09:22 PM
Aaaannd a page of people's reports that it doesn't work versus rodents:


02-17-2008, 09:26 PM
Wikipedia calls bunk:

But, it might only be referring to its use against insects. I'll try and see if I can find anything on its use versus mice. Certainly that sounds more probable.

If anything I think the "lost wariness" effect would be much quicker and more pronounced in mice vs insects as mice are considerably more intelligent.

[URL=http://vidilife.com/video_play_1054135_Giant_Centipede_Vs_Mouse_2.htm]You could use these (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insect_repellent) to control mice.

Or these

Fear Itself
02-17-2008, 09:43 PM
In the words of the Perfect Master (https://academicpursuits.us/classics/a2_068.html):Some ultrasound firms say their products will also repel mice, rats, roaches, bats, fleas, spiders, and the like. The evidence to date suggests these claims are greatly exaggerated. At best they work only when used in conjunction with a concerted anti-pest program involving traps, improved sanitation, elimination of entry points and nesting places, and so onSo they are kind of like OTC diet aids; they work if you are also in a program of diet and exercise.

02-18-2008, 01:00 AM
It appears if the pests have free choice between a nice safe area with lots of food VS nice safe area with lots of food and weird annoying noise, they might prefer peace and quiet. So do I, but I still live in Downtown because the rent is cheap and it's close to transit. The mice likely have little real choice, it's likely closer to: "starve and/or get eaten" vs " nice safe area with lots of food and wierd annoying noise". So, maybe if your neighbors have an apt which has all the stuff mice want but no noise, the mice might go there rather than yours. But of course after a while population pressure (or something else) will force them into yours.

As astro and others have said, they have no real practical value in the long term.

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